And while some issues have little to do with sexuality, gender, or identity, the LGBTQ community does have their own set of unique challenges as well. This may be due to the stigma and discrimination LGBTQ individuals often face on a regular basis, from society, family members, peers, co-workers, and even classmates. This discrimination contributes to the higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health struggles seen amongst LGBTQ. Thus, it is not surprising this population seeks mental health services at higher rates. In addition to the effects of stigma and discrimination, the LGBTQ population also often obtains mental health support for:.
How to Understand Gay and Lesbian People - wikiHow
In certain sectors of our society, being gay or lesbian is seen as unnatural, a disorder, or an aberration—to be diagnosed, accepted as wrong, and cured. Unfortunately, even a small minority of mental health professionals become involved from this perspective. Here at Orange County couples and marriage counseling , I view the gay and lesbian communities as highly positive, natural, and healthy sectors of our society, contributing to family, social, and professional life in countless ways and indispensible to all of us. I also see human sexuality as a continuum, with many, many nuances and variations in expression in both straight and same-sex orientations.
Counseling the Gay and Lesbian Client: Treatment Issues and Conversion Therapy
We at the Counseling Services affirm the value and importance of gay and lesbian people in our community, neighborhood, campus, and world. This self-help brochure provides a starting point for information to develop and establish a positive view of gay or lesbian self-identity. Affirmation and Value : information to affirm the value of a gay or lesbian self-identity. Myths and Facts : information to help separate myth from fact.
Before beginning any treatment with a homosexual client, a therapist has the responsibility of making sure he or she is well versed on issues related to sexuality, has the skills necessary to create a positive and nonjudgmental environment, and will not feel uncomfortable discussing issues related to homosexuality. If a therapist believes homosexuality is wrong, sinful, immoral, or a mental illness, he or she should NOT work with gay clients. Refer this client to someone who is able to provide the necessary components of a therapeutic relationship. If a therapist believes that a person can change his or her sexual orientation often referred to as conversion, reparative, or reorientation therapy , it is only ethical to do adequate research on the topic before beginning such treatment. Understand that the American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and others have denounced this type of treatment due to the high incidences of negative outcomes and very low and even questionable success rates.